I’ll Buy it When I Buy it.

I have been coveting a fake Chanel wallet ever since a friend of mine pulled hers out of her purse  a month ago, unzipped it and I saw the hot pink lining inside looking flashy and sassy. 🙂

So, I asked her where she bought it and when I went hunting for it in Songtan I was miffed at the price I was being quoted. She told me that she bought hers for 30,000 won (or maybe 40…she couldn’t remember) but when *I* asked four different saleswomen at four different bag shops for the price, I was told 70,000 won. And not one of them budged from that price. No bueno. I will NOT be ripped off when buying a knock-off!

Mmm. I don't even like the exterior THAT much. I LOOOVE the inside though. Hot pink!

When I was in I-town a month ago I was quoted 30,000 won. Now they’re all mysteriously 55-70,000 won??? But SUPPOSEDLY there are Chinese-made knock-offs and KOREAN-made knock-offs. And *of course* the touted Korean replicas are heaps more than the Chinese ones. Whatevs. I just want me a cheapo fake that I can use for a while until I get bored with it or until it falls apart (whichever comes first). Supposedly the I-town and Dongdaemun ones are Chinese and the Songtan ones are Korean. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Seriously, *MY* eye cannot distinguish between the two. And the salespeople all insist the Korean ones are made with REAL LAMBSKIN. Let me ask you, if I’m buying a replica, a cheapo knock-off…do you think I’m interested in it being REAL LAMBSKIN!?!?  Ummm. No. I’m not.

Two weeks ago I was shopping in Dongdaemun and ended up making the mistake of asking a salesman if he had fake Chanel and he whisked me to the back of his large cubicle inside the gi-normous HELLO A.M! store…yah, I think it’s the old DOOTA building…because I don’t recall seeing the DOOTA sign over there anymore. Anyhoo, what this gi-normous building is is floor after floor of STUFF. The 1st and 2nd floors have women’s clothing. And they’re all small, little cubicles with tons of clothes to sell. I should have taken pictures but I didn’t. Sorry. The 3rd and 4th floors are men’s clothing. The 5th floor is accessories (imagine jewelry and lots of it) and the 6th floor is more accessories (hats, hats, hats) and the 7th floor is BAGS.  So, when I arrived on the 7th floor and saw handbags, wallets, purses, and backpacks I immediately thought about my knock-off Chanel wallet.

So, yes…when I arrived on the 7th floor, I looked at a salesman and his eyes glimmered and I thought, Oh, hot damn I’ve hit the jackpot. Because the Songtan ladies told me that I’d have to go to Dongdaemun for the “cheap” ones and there I was. And the salesman, Hwan-Seok (yes, I got his name) gave me a magazine to look at filled with alllllll of the designer replicas one could imagine. I asked him about my wallet and he scurried to a cupboard, pulled out a carry-on sized suitcase, popped it open and showed me all of his wallets. Well, he most definitely had THAT Chanel wallet…the one with the hot pink interior. But he told me it was 70,000 won, too!  WTH!?  I smiled and politely replied in Korean, “Oh, no. No. No.”  He looked at me and asked how much I wanted to pay. I told him 35,000 won. He was taken aback and exclaimed (in English), “Aiyie! Is China! This not China!” And I told him in Korean that I was perfectly OK with having a Chinese-made wallet and he said he didn’t have them. But, we went back and forth  for about 15-20 minutes. Which, when trying to negotiate a price of a stupid wallet is a long time. And after my shopping buddy got bored with our back-and-forth bartering and walked away…(my Korean realllly shines when I’m in a shopping situation and I’m trying to get a bargain…I can BRING IT!) he told me (in Korean), “Okay, okay. You get the pretty girl discount. Final price. Final price. 48,000 won.” And oooh, I thought it was pretty close to my desired price of 35,000 won but then I realized that paying 35,000 won for the wallet would be lame anyway. I didn’t like it that much.  It’s OK. Personally, I like to use wallets that are green, gold, red, or purple—all good prosperity colors. All feng shui experts will tell you to steer clear of wallets in other colors.

And while I had been searching for the bargain-priced knock-off Chanel wallet, I had seen a replica Louis Vuitton wallet in purple. So, if I ever buy one of those  replica wallets, I should get that one instead.

The inside is very nicely compartmentalized, too.

All in all, my wallet shopping has taught me: impulse buying is for the young and the shopaholics. I’m proud of  myself for holding out until I feel just right about the purchase. 😉

“I’ll buy it when I buy it.” —C.T 😛

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October 25, 2010. Tags: , , , . Korea 2010, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

*Bling*

I have been tidying my apartment these past, ummm, nine months. You know. Little-by-little. I haven’t wanted to stress myself out or anything so I have gone really slowly. I seem to accumulate a lot of crap while living alone.

I was going to throw out an old magazine I picked up in Hong Kong during my Xmas vacation. But I thought…no….I can’t throw it away, I should give it to someone else so s/he could read it, too.

So, I started thumbing through it one last time and decided to share these lovely images of WEALTH and BEAUTY with you all. 🙂

Wanna try these on for size? 😉

I do!

Now where would I wear this to? My mom would of course tell me it’s an “everyday watch.” HaHa. Gotta love my mom’s style. 😉

How about these?

I like them. I think they would make it hard to fold laundry or put on my stockings. 😉

I like the idea of bringing more *BLING* into my life.

“Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.” –John Lennon 😛

October 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Not enough!

Hello everyone! 🙂  I think I might turn into a food blogger. Mmm. Not really. It’s a take-it-while-you-can-get-it with me!!

I am feeling compelled to write about the DUBAI RESTAURANT in Itaewon because my friend and I went last month and I started thinking again  about vegetarian/vegan options in Korea and well…the Dubai Restaurant serves some veg fare but more specifically… FALAFEL. ((I’m hearing the oooohs and aaahhhhhs now))

My friend and I had looped Itaewon’s main drag, like, six times…because we started out walking without a purpose and then we would come up with a destination which undoubtedly every time would require us to walk back in the opposite direction. Gotta love it!  But, we had a good time. ^^  Yes, it was an enjoyable day.

My friend is a strict, unwavering vegan. So, I had gone to Itaewon with her to specifically get FALAFEL. I’ve met heaps of people in Korea this year who seem to be nutty about FALAFEL (and yes, I have to use all capital letters when typing it out EVERY TIME!) 😛

Falafels are made with chickpeas and/or fava beans and other mediterranean ingredients. I, unfortunately had a traumatic experience with a ‘do-it-yourself FALAFEL home kit’ that came with some ground up powder (I’m presuming ground chickpeas??) and spices which I then added water to, made a gooey paste and then deep fried. I ate approximately  nine  blobs (not balls) one sunny Saturday back in college. I almost puked. The  flavors compounded in my mouth, I got a BAAAD headache and then I felt SOOOOO sick. 😳 It traumatized me so badly that I have not been able to eat another FALAFEL since then.

But, fast forward (cough, cough) years…Let’s just say P L  E  N  T  Y of time has passed since then. So, my friend and I had been walking up and down the street all afternoon working up our appetites when we finally decided: it was time to eat! So, I took her to the only place that I knew served FALAFEL. And jeez, it was like, 10,000 won for some frickin’ FALAFELS (three, I think). Whatevs. Not worth it AT ALL I.M.H.O. It’s a little fast-foody type of place. Not comfortable to sit down and relax in…no atmosphere. loud. drafty. If I’m going to pay that much for food, please give me some nice surroundings. piped in music?  a plush chair?  HAHAHA  That’s what I’ve come to expect in Korea! C’mon!!! But she’d had her craving for MONTHS  she said. It was the whole reason she and I trekked over to I-town…

I told her that it was a ripoff and that we could find a better place.

La la laaaaaa

Sometimes I need to NOT be my father’s daughter and just pay the price. 😛

And so we walked down the street again ……… and then back up, going to all of the restaurants that I thought might serve them. To  our surprise…FALAFELS are harder to come by than one would think!  *Der!

Anyhoo, I eventually noticed  the DUBAI RESTAURANT (which was practically right across the street from the fast foody place). ((hooray)) 🙄

The food there is fine. Their food quality  is not my issue. They serve FALAFEL! Yay. And they offer a lovely dining experience. The atmosphere is romantic in a Middle Eastern way and it’s up on the second floor away from the noise, etc. And the bathroom is nice. ^^ That’s always important.  The men who work there are attractive. Another plus.

Alas, they were charging 9,000 won for their FALAFEL. Err… OK, fine, I gave in. FALAFELS  are not cheap in Korea. Fine.

Their FALAFEL plate came with five  balls  (but they gave us six  since we told them we were splitting the dish and I smiled sweetly at the server guy) 😉 But they were SMALL BALLS! 😦 Me no like small balls.

And then we ordered an appetizer platter of hummus, baba ganoush and a yogurt (for 9,000 won I THINK). Well, their baba ganoush has yogurt in it which sucked for my friend…she could only have the hummus. And the plate that they serve these dips on is suuuuper small. We were ravenous. Not enough!!! We ordered an extra serving of hummus (6,000???) to share… plus one pita each at 1,000 won each.

So, our little “snack” was 13,000 won each…for not enough food!! 😦

I won’t go back to “Dubai Restaurant” for the FALAFEL that’s fer sure. As an aside: Their other dishes seemed much more standard in portion sizes, though.

“….octagonal plates and silver domes….conceal the minute portions of food in snooty restaurants run by egomaniac chefs.–John    Mortimer, in Introduction to ‘Rumpole’ (1994)

P.S. Since it’s not a terrible restaurant by any means…here’s the info:  Go out Exit 3 of I-town (Itaewon Station) and walk straight. It’ll be on your right before you get to the street crossing. I *think* it’s right before the Dunkin Donuts (or above it?)… 02-798-9277. They speak English!

October 5, 2010. Tags: , , , . Korea 2010, Seoul, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Hotline Lady

Grrrr…. grrr  (that’d be my throat sounding like a tiger ready to attack).

I had to call the Tourist/Foreigner ***HELP** Line  again this past week. 031-1330. That is the number for Gyeonggi. If you’re in Seoul, you’d dial 02-1330. The darling over at the Seoul office is a sweetheart and I love her dearly. The new lady  in Gyeonggi SUCKS. The gal who used to work there (who used to be my #1 Go-to Grrl) must have been promoted for such excellent work. She was SUPER DOO-PER. 🙂  The lady who replaced her needs to find herself another job. She is SO un-helpful. She has given me wrong information three times and basically told me once to stop calling that line for “everyday life” questions. WELL. I’m sorry, but if I don’t know what effing bus to take to get from point A–> to B then I will be calling your  number, Madame Attitude. What EXACTLY is it that you get paid for?!

I would call the SEOUL line but the past five or six times I’ve called with a question that didn’t pertain to SEOUL …they told me that I need to call the Gyeonggi line. 😦

This new lady knows my voice (I know she does!). One time I called to ask about another bus that goes to YoungTong. I knew the general area that I was going to but wanted to call the HELPINE to see about getting more specific directions. Well, she told me it would take me two(2!) hours to get there and that I would have to transfer buses TWICE. Well.      I thanked her… (for what?  wasting my time and my cell phone minutes?) and then I just followed my hunch and got on ONE bus and got there in 20 minutes. Good Lord. This lady  needs to find another job. Another time I asked about movie times and movies that would be playing in English at my local theater and she matter-of-factly (and quite rudely) said, “There aren’t any movies in English.” Now. There is a nice way and a RUDE  way to say things. She could have easily said, “There doesn’t seem to be a movie playing in English at the moment. Is there anything else I could help you with?” Gee that has such a nice feel/vibe to it.  This lady has NEVER said her name when she answers the line. No shocker there. I’m sure people would be complaining left, right and center about her.

A couple days ago, she infuriated me so much. Oh, I was LIVID. First of all, I was standing on the wrong side of the street trying to catch a bus in Osan to go back to Dongtan. This particular bus doesn’t make a loop, it just goes along one side of the street and wraps around cities in that way. I had a feeling that was the situation so after waiting 25 minutes for the bus to come around my way, I decided to call the hotline. But, it’s ALWAYS HER who answers. The same lady who needs to be FIRED. 👿 Grrrrrr

Anyway, I asked her, I’m in Osan…blah blah blah…does Bus 707 go down BOTH sides of the street???? I’m at the __fill in the blank__ bus stop. I’ve seen it pass by on the other side of the street but it hasn’t come along on *my* side of the street and it’s already been 25 minutes. Could you please look on the Internet and check it out for me?

So, she said…(in her UNfriendly way): What’s the name of the stop? ((I had already told her. But, I repeated it))  Yes, yes. Sure it does. Why not? Why wouldn’t it?  That bus only comes every 20 to 25 minutes. Wait. OK?

That was the end of THAT phone call.

GRRRRRRR. Ooh, I felt my blood starting to  boil at that point. ❗

So, I waited another 20 minutes and saw another 707 pass by on the OPPOSITE side of the street. Then I realized: the bus wouldn’t be coming along on my side of the street and she had given me wrong information ONCE AGAIN.  I’d been at the bus stop in my short-sleeved shirt and a skirt waiting in the newly cold, autumn day for 45 minutes at that point. ❗ 😡 ❗

After I saw the second 707, I started running down the street to follow it. After I’d simply turned the corner, I realized I’d been standing on a completely different street than I thought I was standing on…(gotta love Korea’s homogeneity in building styles and street layouts =Dunkin Donuts, vet clinic, Paris Baguette, shoe store, pharmacy, GS25, women’s clothing store, Baskin Robbins…rinse and repeat), I ran with the determination of getting myself  HOME.  Irritated with having to wait nearly an hour for my bus…I was officially fit to be tied. So, I called my mom and spilled my guts and she let me vent and rant and rave and then calmed me down like all good moms do. ^-^ ((Thanks, maman!))

And then my bus came along and I got on it. Once I got off of the phone with my mom I finished my book. I started crying at the end of Amy Tan’s JOY LUCK CLUB (but I cried at the end of the movie, too) and after I had a mini-release on the bus I realized I was still furiously mad at the Helpline lady.

Obviously, this stems much further than today and a crappy bus experience. Oooh, she’s had it coming from me for SOME TIME NOW. So, I decided I was going to call her, chew her out  and hopefully feel better afterward. 😀

I got off of the bus and my whole body was tingling. You know…almost like when your foot falls asleep, or this one time in my Beginning Singing Class when I had to give a solo in front of the advanced class and my WHOLE body went numb from my neck down. 😦

But I could feel the energy. I wanted to run. I wanted to scream. I had so much ickiness built up inside of me. I knew that I needed to release it. So, I re-dialed 031-1330. (((bling, bling!! bling, bling!!)))  The phone rang and I was transferred to the English-speaking Attitude Lady.

CT:  Hello?? Yes. I’m still standing at the bus stop for 707. It still hasn’t come by on this side of the street. You know, I don’t know why you told me the bus would come along on my side of the street when it hasn’t and it won’t. I don’t know why you are giving me the wrong information.  Foreigners in this country need this line to help us out sometimes. I don’t think you should have this job!

CLICK!!!!

And I hung up on her. She didn’t get to say a word other than, Tourist Helpline...And I felt SLIGHTLY better after spewing out my tirade.

And I thought…Hmm. I think I’m going to call back later and start regularly harassing her. 😛 I think I am going to harass her until she quits and then they get someone who can do a proper job. 😡 Good idea, don’tcha think? 😉

ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!! Get this!!!!:

I walked home from the bus in 10 minutes. I was in my apartment getting ready to rally some other waygook (foreigner) troops here who would want to help me out with my harassment idea (the more, the merrier, right?) when WOULDN’T YOU KNOW

I GOT  A  TEXT MESSAGE FROM HER (THE HOTLINE)!

Oh snap!

((I wondered if my phone number showed up when I called! LOL  LOL))

And I quote (punctuation, spelling and all):

“We’re really sorry for that. I was looking for 707 (ansan city; there’re four 707s) the area U was waiting 4 is one-way bus line. U move to osan St way. Really sorry.”

And I got a great, big belly laugh out of that one. 😉

Well.

I affected her.

She took all that time to send me a message. I’d say Mission: Accomplished! 😀

Heehee ^-^

Don’t mess with CT, peeps.

I, of course, found some good quotes to go along with this blog ^-^

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” —-Oscar Wilde

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” —Drew Carey

October 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Korea 2010, Uncategorized. 3 comments.